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#882803 18/08/23 08:37 AM
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People say that the Rogue is one of the best classes for the high damage, but I don't see how. Best my Rogue (astarion) can do is the sneak attack, if he's lucky, with not so much damage, even with legendary weapon, and then try to hide till the next turn, or bite someone. I tried to build him as the assassin and as the thief on my second run, wherein you don't even build anything in the assassin subclass, since its more like a champion fighter, with a lot of default passives. And, at the same time, my fighter lae'zel does way more damage with her 3 hits on any subclass, as well as any barbarian, paladin, or a wizard with high level spells. Am I missing something?

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Assassin offers more opportunities for sneak attack burst damage against enemies that either haven't taken a turn yet, or that are surprised. You use your cunning action to hide, then attack with advantage on enemies so you can get your sneak attack, and crit fish, that's how rogue combat works. BG3 doesn't appear to use flanking rules anymore, which made sneak attacking and crit fishing much easier.

However. Rogue is not the best dps. I'm not sure why people have been saying that, especially in a game where you can long rest pretty much freely, so limited resources like spell slots for smites or action surges come back frequently. I think people just like those big sneak attack dice numbers.

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Note that many discussions about 5e damage assume no magic weapons, or very basic +1 weapon.
In BG3 you have a great variety of excellent weapons. These better weapons give you extra damage per attack, increasing the damage of non-rogue martial characters much more than they help rogues, that just get their 1 attack plus a fixed sneak attack damage.
Even without these weapons, rogues don't come out on top of the damage per round charts.

Rogue's damage can be impressive if they score a critical hit on a sneak attack. Have another character hold-person/monster on the enemy, or use a poison to stun them granting you auto-crits on all attacks to see impressive damage numbers. Crits double the damage dice, but not the additive non-dice component of the damage, meaning sneak attacks scale better than other class' damage on critting.

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Do Assassin 9/3 Gloom Stalker.

Spec into bows and see Astarion become a killing machine.

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pretty funny to read about any variatoins for rogues who forced to do multiclass and play with ranged weapons... if i want to play ranged physical ill stick to ranger, but something serious wrong with game, if only way to do decent damage with rogue is playin with bows and crossbows

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https://kotaku.com/baldurs-gate-3-bg3-monk-build-best-op-1850752068

Thief rogue / open hand monk is the melee DPS god.

I love this combo so much.

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There is no one right way to play a Rogue. The Rogue is a versatile character that can be a scout, thief, adventurer, or assassin. Sounds like you're wanting the assassin route. The assassin is a master of burst damage, that one attack made from stealth. Combine that with various poisons or add-on rubs to the weapon and that first attack can be ugly. The issue is that is the only time he is truly devistating. So unless you can arrange sneak attacks over and over again the Rogue is not, nor never has been the parties primary damage dealer.

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It's best to get out of that mindset of thinking in terms of "DPS" entirely, and just look at your rogue as a very strong utility character who might deal a particularly brutal precision attack here and there, and might spend the rest of their time setting up for that or creeping into a dark corner where they can chuck potions or trigger environmental damage. This is Dungeons & Dragons, not World of Warcraft; your characters can be very effective by not leaning into just one aspect of their character at a time, and classes like the rogue can be very situational. My halfling bard is a dual-wielding evasion sponge who spends half her time stabbing potions for group heals and half her time stabbing the daylights out of things, and a further half of her time spellcasting. Yes, that is three halves. Every battle is different.

Also, don't sleep on weapon coatings or using the Dip action. When all else fails, drop a candle and dip.

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My little assassin is the party starter. I currently have Dual daggers. The damage is consistent and many drop on opening attack. Just turned level 6 so not far enough to say it's the best ... just deadly and a gap closer. Try opening chests / disabling traps with another class and see how fast you turn back.

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Level Rogue to 4 (take Thief at 3) pick up sharpshooter feat at 4. Take 1 lvl of fighter or 2 levels of ranger for archery weapon style. Equip gloves of archery. Dual wield hand crossbows and get 3x attacks at 1d6 +15 dmg each (10 from sharpshooter, 2 from gloves of archery, 3 from 16+ Dex). This easily goes higher with higher dex and weapon enchants (18 dex and +1 hand crossbow = 1d6 +17dmg each). This isn't even factoring in crit or sneak attacks. Throw in Drow Poison and solo all combat encounters.

Note this is possible in part because hand crossbows in offhand is benefitting from ability modifiers when it shouldn't and bg3's implementation of hand crossbows essentially gives you the crossbow expert feat for free.

Last edited by LTC_Panders; 21/08/23 09:19 PM. Reason: Added die values
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I am level 5 with my whole group: Main (Rogue), Shadowheart (Cleric), Gale (Sorc), Lae'zel (Fighter).
I want to fight melee with my rogue, because this is my pure understanding of that class.
Maybe, I am playing it wrong, but after my initial sneak attack it feels pretty dumb to stay around and just hit with a normal attack next round - it feels pretty unsatisfying to be honest.
In my opinion, ranged damage / ranged enemies is pretty strong - currently, I am looking for some protection against ranged damage, because most of the combat (balanced difficulty) against my group has devastating outcomes, when 3-4 ranged enemies are taking actions (just want to mention the Duergar Ship Battle). I had to reload this fight 7-8 times to defeat all the dwarfs.

PS: Sorry, I'm from Germany. My game language is German, so my text could contain some wrong descriptions.

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Thief is by far the best compared to Assassin simply because extra bonus action.

Also yes, agreed with OneTrueNobody, a character isn't defined by how high the damage he can deal in one turn, which still pretty nice, but there is so much stuff you can do outside of fights that pretty much having a Rogue will beneficial.

Originally Posted by Tezrak
I am level 5 with my whole group: Main (Rogue), Shadowheart (Cleric), Gale (Sorc), Lae'zel (Fighter).
I want to fight melee with my rogue, because this is my pure understanding of that class.
Maybe, I am playing it wrong, but after my initial sneak attack it feels pretty dumb to stay around and just hit with a normal attack next round - it feels pretty unsatisfying to be honest.
In my opinion, ranged damage / ranged enemies is pretty strong - currently, I am looking for some protection against ranged damage, because most of the combat (balanced difficulty) against my group has devastating outcomes, when 3-4 ranged enemies are taking actions (just want to mention the Duergar Ship Battle). I had to reload this fight 7-8 times to defeat all the dwarfs.

PS: Sorry, I'm from Germany. My game language is German, so my text could contain some wrong descriptions.

You'd want to play thief rogue, you have 2 bonus actions, which means you can disengage and then look for deadspot to back into hiding and then sneak attack again.

You can sneak attack at every turn. Given the right condition. Condition which you must create for yourself.

Pay attention to vision cone and terrain, sometimes you don't even need to go to hide to commit sneak attack, if you make the enemy on disadvantage, you can strike sneak attack without hiding, this is where your choice of companion is important too.


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Originally Posted by Dext. Paladin
Thief is by far the best compared to Assassin simply because extra bonus action.

100% true. So many important battles are locked behind cutscenes so you never get the surprise round to trigger the assassin ability when you need it.

Extra bonus action combined with all the gear and the elexirs and poisons you collect are infinitely better.

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LTC_Panders pretty much has it to a T, pure rogue is fine enough but the Archery fighting style certainly doesn't hurt if you want to dip into other classes, and certainly there are many excellent multiclass builds for Rogue. Just looking at straight Rogue though a Thief gets as many attacks as any other class does (if not more) while dual wielding hand crossbows excepting Fighter 11+ which is definitively end game. They also get Great Weapon Master levels of damage, but at range, and with the Sneak Attack damage as a bonus on top of that.

Note of course that a Rogue can get the same amount of attacks, and can get fantastic damage with them, with melee builds as well, including but not limited to dual wielding melee weapons or some unusual but certainly viable Polearm Rogue builds. It's just that there's no reason typically to go melee when Rogues are the king of ranged and can dish out such absurd damage from across the screen rather than wasting time getting to their target and / or putting themselves in harms' way. Especially given how easy it is to establish undesirable terrain that ranged characters can snipe across while melee combatants must trudge through. Regardless of whether you're using ranged weapons though they're absolutely top notch in damage output. This is due to the following:
1) The Bonus Action granted by Thief can be used for an attack, either a normal one or special ones like Flurry of Blows. More actions = more attacks, so the Rogue does not and will never have a disadvantage in attacks and thus damage output vs literally any other martial characters prior to level 11, and even then only the Fighter.
2) Sneak Attack scales better than the damage bonuses granted from other classes such as Barbarian, granting on average +3.5 damage per 2 levels
3) "Dipping" your weapon or applying poison continually provides benefits to all attacks made, including across multiple ranged weapons, rather than just applying to 3 pieces of ammo like in normal D&D 5e
4) Bonus action Hide provides a great way to gain advantage on attacks essentially at will, providing huge mathematical advantages to damage output vs heavily armored foes
5) Bonus action Dash or when needed Disengage provides easy repositioning, leading to fewer "dead" turns and thus more consistent damage output.
6) BG3 offers items which increase crit range, not normally available in 5e, which offer far more benefits for Rogues than they do other classes with fewer dice involved in their damage calculations.
7) Speaking of Crits, certain conditions such as Paralysis result in auto-crits, which again benefit Rogues more than other classes.

All of this ignores the incredible utility of the Rogue of course. The ability to steal the enemies' weapons before engaging in combat with them, or sneak around setting up traps / beneficial terrain, or the non-combat stuff entirely. Finally, Rogues can do what they do all day and all night and won't lose effectiveness over time, and can also very easily choose whether or not they actually want to be in combat at any time.

A well built Rogue will absolutely keep pace with a well built Barbarian or Paladin, and though pure Rogue doesn't top pure Fighter in most cases during endgame neither of them represent the pinnacle of damage output, multiclass combos reign supreme regardless and Rogue is often a part of such builds. A high level Wizard who is willing to dump high level spell slots each turn can exceed the damage output of any of those under the right circumstances, but only under the right circumstances and for a very limited number of rounds per long rest, while a Rogue will dish out consistently high damage round after round.

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Originally Posted by LTC_Panders
Level Rogue to 4 (take Thief at 3) pick up sharpshooter feat at 4. Take 1 lvl of fighter or 2 levels of ranger for archery weapon style. Equip gloves of archery. Dual wield hand crossbows and get 3x attacks at 1d6 +15 dmg each (10 from sharpshooter, 2 from gloves of archery, 3 from 16+ Dex). This easily goes higher with higher dex and weapon enchants (18 dex and +1 hand crossbow = 1d6 +17dmg each). This isn't even factoring in crit or sneak attacks. Throw in Drow Poison and solo all combat encounters.

Note this is possible in part because hand crossbows in offhand is benefitting from ability modifiers when it shouldn't and bg3's implementation of hand crossbows essentially gives you the crossbow expert feat for free.
I am having a problem looking at that favorably, compared to a straight 12 Champion Fighter with the same dual crossbow sharpshooter dexterity build. Four attacks, better armor proficiency (
because there are *two* no-max-dex medium armors in Act 3
), more HP, more feats/ASIs (can take Skilled if you want to monkey around with stealth/steal/perception), and doesn't depend on the possibly-will-be-nerfed free off-hand full-dex-to-damage thing, as it can use longbows, too (
one of which gives hilarious bonuses and constant advantage, which, when combined with crit-enhancing gear, absolutely skyrockets the damage output
)...

I am honestly kinda meh about the whole thief/assassin melee backstab thing. You have to walk everywhere because you lack the strength for battlefield-wide jumps, your once-per-round sneak attack is good, but they for some reason made it a Special Dedicated Main Hand Attack Skill, which entirely defeats all the reason to dual-wield as a rogue in 5E (second chance to backstab if you somehow fail), you need Special Limited Equipment for off-hand dex-to-damage (unlike ranged, which gets it for free), and in-combat stealth is of very limited use in melee (yet absolutely ridiculous at range). Meanwhile, an equivalent-level bonk-master (paladin, fighter, barbarian, etc.) will just deal pretty much backstab damage with each attack, right in the face, and has significantly more "take out this dangerous target fast" capabilities than a rogue. Not to mention shove, lol

Please help me understand how melee rogues are supposed to work.


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What I don't get is, why is it important for melee rogues to be good, and especially as good as Barbarians or Paladins? A Barbarian while raging effectively has 3x the HP of a Rogue vs most melee combatants. They have a fraction of the skills and none of the mastery, they lack evasion which combined with how their rage works means they'll never be as good of scouts, melee combat is all they're good at, and they're very good at it. So why would Rogues need to be as good or better at it than they are?

FWIW they absolutely would keep pace in damage; they have access to all the same options as a Barb as far as damage increase, and a Str based Rogue has terrible AC and survivability without a dip but damage wise has no real downsides. They also have the same number of attacks, *everything* in this game is "possibly-will-be-nerfed" and bonus action attacks are currently just as good as regular action attacks outside of Haste. But it's a terrible choice because you take a far less survivable class which excels on picking its positioning and taking out priority targets and force them to be in specific spots, at melee distance to their foes, without any advantage to that choice whatsoever.

Melee just isn't a thing Rogues really do or are good at, it's a thing they get away from very easily, and if they're stuck there they can do ok damage, but it's not where they shine at all. Much like Barbarians don't shine as scouts. Can you make it work, and can they do it in a pinch? Sure. But they'll never be as good at it as a Rogue, nor do they need to be.

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You don’t have to attack from stealth to sneak attack. You can just run up and knife someone who is standing next to another one of your party, or shoot them in the back with a bow. I think they need the “threatened” condition. It might be slightly buggy as it doesn’t seem to be 100% reliable, but usually is in my experience.

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Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
What I don't get is, why is it important for melee rogues to be good, and especially as good as Barbarians or Paladins?
Good at everything? Nah man. Never said a thing about that.
But if I do get a sneak attack, I really hope that that attack does more damage (or fight-turning effects) than the standard fighter/barb/pally whalloping someone with a GWM greatsword *once*.
"Oh, but you got range!" If I do get sneak attack at range, even with sharpshooter-thief-hand-crossbows, it is still not as much as the "martial" having two or three more attacks. Seriously, 5d6 is nothing.
P.S. barbarians make great scouts. A lot of scouting includes jumping around, and if push comes to shove, barbarians have a lot of push to throw around.


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A Martial will never have 2, much less 3, more attacks though. Thief Rogues have 3 as of level 3, Martials (other than Rangers) catch up at 5 while Rangers pull ahead by 1, Fighters catch up to Rangers and pull ahead by 1 at 11. Paladins and Barbs *never* pull ahead. If they did pull ahead by 3 attacks per round, sure, but they don't. And of course the sneak attack does more damage than hitting them with a greatsword once, since it does the same damage as them hitting with the greatsword even before the sneak attack dice are applied, give or take 2 damage! Add in 18.5 damage and it can't *help* but deal more damage. And nearly 20 damage isn't nothing, especially when it's added onto someone who is again getting the same number of attacks.

Rogues can:
Dash and still get 2 attacks, which combined with their range lets them chase down and eliminate fleeing targets before they pull in more adds.
Take out priority targets on the other side of difficult chasms or inopportune surfaces.
Disengage while surrounded and still get 2 attacks against whatever was surrounding them
Take out multiple disparate targets on opposite sides of the battlefield.

I'm playing a sharpshooter Rogue in a multiplayer campaign, my damage dealt is so much higher than any other player it borders on absurd. If 5d6 isn't anything, don't tell that to the storm sorcs, who think that dealing 8d6 damage 3-5x in a turn while burning up all their daily resources will result in "damage numbers in the 500s" and is the height of power XD Meanwhile I'm just chilling dishing out 100+ damage round after round, every round, while our martials often have to sort out how exactly they're going to get to and try to damage the correct targets, and end up just hitting unimportant targets at their feet instead.

As far as scouting, Barbarians will never be as good as Rogues. They don't have expertise available, which in my case at least as of 6 meant expertise in Perception. They're more MAD (Multi-Attribute Dependent), wanting good Str, Con, and Dex, before worrying about Wisdom, while a Rogue just needs good Dex and Con and can have a decent Wis just for the boost to Perception and thus scouting. If they find the trap, they don't have expertise in Sleight of Hand, and Reliable Talent. meaning their minimum result is likely something around an 8, while a Rogue's minimum result is no joke likely to be somewhere around a 23. If they fail to find the trap, Danger Sense isn't as good as Evasion, and Rage won't help with the damage taken, meaning more resources expended keeping them healed. Oh and they don't have *at will invisibility* like a Rogue does. They might need fewer instances of super jump applied to them, granted, but on balance at the end of the day there's just no comparison in their usefulness as a scout.

Now the whole point was, that's ok! If you need them to fill the scouting role, they can certainly still do so. They'll do fine in it and the party can muddle through even if they're not as good at it as Rogues are. And same with Rogues in melee - if they need to do it, they'll be fine, even if they're not as good at it as Barbs are.

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Sorry, but imma need to omnislash this
Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
A Martial will never have 2, much less 3, more attacks though.
Fighter 11, hand crossbows, 3 base attacks + off-hand attack = 4 attacks. Might not look like that much more vs the thief's 1+2x off-hand, but thief scales really bad with haste/bloodlust/speed, whereas fighters hyperdo. And in melee, it is even more stark, as melee off-hand attacks suck, whereas PMM/GWM bonus action attacks do not.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Thief Rogues have 3 as of level 3, Martials (other than Rangers) catch up at 5 while Rangers pull ahead by 1, Fighters catch up to Rangers and pull ahead by 1 at 11. Paladins and Barbs *never* pull ahead. If they did pull ahead by 3 attacks per round, sure, but they don't. And of course the sneak attack does more damage than hitting them with a greatsword once, since it does the same damage as them hitting with the greatsword even before the sneak attack dice are applied, give or take 2 damage! Add in 18.5 damage and it can't *help* but deal more damage. And nearly 20 damage isn't nothing, especially when it's added onto someone who is again getting the same number of attacks.
GWM, as specified, is a flat +10 damage per attack. That's 2d6 + 1/2/3 (enchantment) + 5/6/8 (strength) + 10, before we add in any of the hilarious extra-damage-per-hit sources; 18-33 damage per bonk. That's nearly the optimal shortsword +3 dex 20 sneak attack damage (1d6+3+5+5d6=14-44) *per attack*. Note that all this is before Supremacy dice, too; the 1d10 evens out the per-hit of the fighter to the ideal hit of the rogue at maximum.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Rogues can:
Dash and still get 2 attacks, which combined with their range lets them chase down and eliminate fleeing targets before they pull in more adds.
If we're talking ranged builds, this is not in any way above sharpshooter fighter performance.
If we're talking melee...

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Take out priority targets on the other side of difficult chasms or inopportune surfaces.
Fighters do it much better, because strength for jumping, and the ability to actually kill a priority target when it is absolutely crucial, thanks to surge.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Disengage while surrounded and still get 2 attacks against whatever was surrounding them
Fighters don't need to disengage; they are likely to kill whatever surrounds them. Or they can

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Take out multiple disparate targets on opposite sides of the battlefield.
Again, fighters, because jump range is *huge* thanks to strength.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
I'm playing a sharpshooter Rogue in a multiplayer campaign, my damage dealt is so much higher than any other player it borders on absurd. If 5d6 isn't anything, don't tell that to the storm sorcs, who think that dealing 8d6 damage 3-5x in a turn while burning up all their daily resources will result in "damage numbers in the 500s" and is the height of power XD
My PC is a storm sorc. DPR overall is pathetic, but nothing has the instant single-round spike power of, for example, triple chain lightning, or shutdown power of heightened hold monster. You don't play sorcerer for the damage output (at least I hope you don't).

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Meanwhile I'm just chilling dishing out 100+ damage round after round, every round
I'm... gonna need to look at the math behind that 100+ each round every round; you don't get sneak attack with every hit.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
while our martials often have to sort out how exactly they're going to get to and try to damage the correct targets, and end up just hitting unimportant targets at their feet instead.
Do they not see the Jump button? Do they not understand how movement works? I don't get it.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
As far as scouting, Barbarians will never be as good as Rogues. They don't have expertise available, which in my case at least as of 6 meant expertise in Perception. They're more MAD (Multi-Attribute Dependent), wanting good Str, Con, and Dex, before worrying about Wisdom, while a Rogue just needs good Dex and Con and can have a decent Wis just for the boost to Perception and thus scouting. If they find the trap, they don't have expertise in Sleight of Hand, and Reliable Talent. meaning their minimum result is likely something around an 8, while a Rogue's minimum result is no joke likely to be somewhere around a 23. If they fail to find the trap, Danger Sense isn't as good as Evasion, and Rage won't help with the damage taken, meaning more resources expended keeping them healed. Oh and they don't have *at will invisibility* like a Rogue does. They might need fewer instances of super jump applied to them, granted, but on balance at the end of the day there's just no comparison in their usefulness as a scout.
I don't bother disarming most traps, because there are simpler solutions. Tossing crates over them, attacking them, etc. But yes, the rogue has the disarm part on lock better, thanks to reliable+expertise. Perception, though, is not a problem, because barb can easily use items that aren't available to rogues, that boost either perception directly, or give advantage to rolls.

Originally Posted by GiantOctopodes
Now the whole point was, that's ok! If you need them to fill the scouting role, they can certainly still do so. They'll do fine in it and the party can muddle through even if they're not as good at it as Rogues are. And same with Rogues in melee - if they need to do it, they'll be fine, even if they're not as good at it as Barbs are.
I had a lot of luck with Karlach scouting around and getting into an opportune engagement position to KO a key target at the start of a fight. I really, really tried hard to find suitable targets for my sharpshooter Astarion, and, eh... Rarely is there a squishy enemy wizard in need of a bolt to the spleen that I can't engage in another way.


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